What is an Endocrinologist?
An endocrinologist is a specially trained doctor. Endocrinologists diagnose diseases that affect your glands. They know how to treat conditions that are often complex and involve many systems within your body. Your primary care doctor refers you to an endocrinologist when you have a problem with your endocrine system.
What do endocrinologists do?
Endocrinologists are trained to diagnose and treat hormone imbalances and problems by helping to restore the normal balance of hormones in your system. They take care of many conditions including:
- thyroid diseases
- metabolic disorders
- over- or underproduction of hormones
- cholesterol (lipid) disorders
- lack of growth (short stature)
- cancers of the endocrine glands
Endocrinologists also conduct basic research to learn the way glands work, and clinical research to learn the best methods to treat patients with a hormone imbalance. Through research, endocrinologists develop new drugs and treatments for hormone problems.
What type of medical training do endocrinologists receive?
Endocrinologists finish four years of medical school and then spend three or four years in an internship and residency program. These specialty programs cover internal medicine, pediatrics, or obstetrics and gynecology. They spend two or three more years learning how to diagnose and treat hormone conditions. Overall, an endocrinologist's training will take more than 10 years.